Thomas Schaefer comments on the status of the evaluation of the 'Panama Papers' at a press conference in Frankfurt. File / AP
Schaefer, 54, was found dead near a railway track on Saturday. The Wiesbaden prosecution's office said they believe he died by suicide.
"We are in shock, we are in disbelief and above all we are immensely sad," Bouffier said in a recorded statement.
Hesse is home to Germany's financial capital Frankfurt, where major lenders like Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank have their headquarters. The European Central Bank is also located in Frankfurt.
A visibly shaken Bouffier recalled that Schaefer, who was Hesse's finance chief for 10 years, had been working "day and night" to help companies and workers deal with the economic impact of the pandemic.
"Today we have to assume that he was deeply worried," said Bouffier, a close ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel.
"It's precisely during this difficult time that we would have needed someone like him," he added.
Popular and well-respected, Schaefer had long been touted as a possible successor to Bouffier.
Like Bouffier, Schaefer belonged to Merkel's centre-right CDU party.
He leaves behind a wife and two children.
Merkel announced steps on Wednesday to ease the coronavirus lockdown in Germany but at the same time launched an "emergency brake" mechanism allowing for renewed restrictions in case infections pick up again.
Daily "Handelsblatt" quoted German Health Minister Jens Spahn and his colleagues from France, Italy and the Netherlands as writing in a letter to the EU Commission it had seen that access to vaccines is "one of the most urgent issues that the European Union has to address at present".
"The scenario of the coronavirus reaching multiple countries, if not all countries around the world, is something we have been looking at and warning against since quite a while."
Authorities concerned affirmed that the UAE is cooperating with competent Iranian authorities to facilitate the operation as per operating systems and procedures and to ensure the safety of visitors and those responsible for the evacuation operations.
The 29-year-old graduate from an opposition-backed university had expected to be tending to the wounded under the threat of bombardment by the Russia-backed Damascus regime.
Ardern’s criticism was more muted than Australia’s. She faced an awkward choice of how far to get involved in a conflict between New Zealand’s closest ally, Australia, and its biggest trading partner, China.
British and European Union negotiators have the options in front of them to conclude a Brexit free-trade deal this week, Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin was quoted as saying on Tuesday, expressing hope that they would succeed.
Dr Omar Al Hammadi, the official spokesperson for the UAE Government said, “The vaccine is currently given to our first line defenders because they are more vulnerable to infection than others, and to the elderly and people with chronic diseases."